Emma :: 6 years

It’s raining and awesome in the upper Midwest today and I’m loving it. Oatmeal for breakfast, piping hot coffee sitting keyboard side, wind howling the beautiful fall leaves by my window…I hope the colors last in the trees for a couple more weeks, but it’s gotta be said…I’ll take the rain!

I’ll also take this little curly-headed cutie in a cowboy hat! Emma is all things curious, farm girl, outside, adventure and sweet…every session gets just that much better!!

Aiken Jordan :: 6 days

As a kid, I was a little short. Not like I couldn’t go on most of the rides at Valleyfair kind of short, but more of your average-Joe, vertically-challenged variety. Which wasn’t really that big of a deal to me until it was time to go to Middle School. A whole huge new school of two buildings and a virtual labyrinth of hallways complete with endless rows of these things called ‘lockers’ and new teachers who I had never met. And all these bigger kids to pick on me? And no recess?! NO RECESS?? Terrifying.

I worked myself up all summer long thinking of ways to postpone the inevitable. I tried running away from home…that was a bust. I tried thinking of other things, but that didn’t help. Transferring schools was a no-go as it was pretty much the exact same problem. What on earth was I going to do? And then, finally, summer came to a close and it was the first day of school.


Naturally, I woke up to full-body hives on a 90-degree day {did I mention this Middle School lacked air conditioning?}. Sporting a turtle neck and black and white spotted jumpsuit {palm*forehead, thanks mom}, I dragged my feet down the driveway and boarded the bus to school. My only saving grace was that my big brother and cousin were also at the Middle School…however, they filled my head with horror stories of teachers who threw desks and a guy named Captain K-bob, and a shop teacher who will give you detention if you speak in his class and then ignored me for the rest of the bus ride as I sat wallowing in my own self-pity, willing the bus to tip over. It didn’t.

We got to school and my brother basically threw me in the direction of my locker before high-fiving a friend and disappearing into the sea of students. I slowly ducked under most the kids and located my locker when a shadow loomed over me. And a devious voice sang out, ‘well, isn’t that Little’s little sister…’ followed by a chorus of snickers and a few more inappropriate jeers. It was beginning. Holy balls.

I was weighing my options between simply walking into my locker and closing the door or sprinting down the hallway when suddenly, out of the constant stream of average-sized 6th-8th graders appeared this unusually tall kid. And the best part, I don’t remember him saying anything. He silently walked up, opened his locker, moved some stuff around, closed it and turned around to stare down my older opponents. Being that this tall kid was towering over them by a good few inches and he wasn’t saying a word, the three boys kind of sat there, dumbstruck, glancing at each other awkwardly. Height, apparently, is everything when you’re in 6th grade. And then…slowly…the boys just…disappeared. An immense sigh of relief left my body and the tall kid turned at looked at me. With humor dancing in his eyes and a comically upturned eyebrow he nonchalantly devised a plan to meet every morning and walk to our homeroom class with each other. With a wry smile from him and a big laugh from me, we turned and walked to class together.

Perhaps 6th grade wasn’t going to be so bad after all.

Thanks to this magical modern marvel of ‘alphabetical order’, our lockers were positioned next to each other until we graduated high school. We went to prom with the same group of people; we partied at each others weddings. I celebrated the birth of his first son and am now lucky enough to photograph the first year of his second son. I can only hope that his boys retain an ounce of the poise and grace of this gentle giant; the original tall kid.

Jessie - September 29, 2014 - 10:09 pm

Love the pictures and love the story of Jordan! The story sounds so similar to something I feel like I’ve heard about Dad too. Blessed with such great family and friends!

Jake :: Senior

It used to be that when I photographed a senior, we were only separated by a few measly years and a ton of wicked fun college experiences. Now, I’m feeling like it’s closer to a few measly college experiences and a ton of wicked fun years…I’m wondering when I will inevitably morph into that creepy old woman who likes to take photos of high school seniors and cracks awkward jokes and laughs way, way too loud.

Or maybe it’s already happened.


Either way, Jake thought I was pretty funny {or awkwardly loud} and we had a fun time on a super beautiful morning capturing his youth in the form of photographs.

Lindsey, Simon, Ellie :: Baby Bump

It’s Monday already.

As a basic rule of human decency, I loathe Mondays. Well, I guess I used to loathe Mondays. Having to lurch out of bed at the first beep of the alarm and prep yourself for the 5-daily grinds to follow. Dressing like a person. Taking a shower daily…ugh, actually doing something with my hair. It takes real effort to be on honest 9-5er, five days a week. You people are awesome.

Now, since going full time with this business over two years ago, I have come to almost enjoy Mondays. A day of slowly getting out of bed. Lazy play with the pup while the coffee perks. Monday morning showers are a thing of the past, my friends. As is getting dressed like a person. Ponytails are nearly a staple. Monday is pajama day, all the way.

And then the work begins.

You see, Mondays to me are now home-office days. Emails, social media updates, editing, networking, planning, scheming, cleaning, organizing, bookkeeping, coffee break. Walk around the block, reheat Sunday leftovers, watch a bit of the soaps while inhaling lunch, then jump back in the office again. Editing, more emails, phone conversations, calendaring, list making…the day tends to pass by rather quickly.

Monday after Monday, month after month. Before I know it years have passed {don’t fret, Interweb friends. There are at least a couple showers in there, I promise you!} and I can hardly believe it. Clients get married, then get pregnant and babies quickly turn into teeny-humans at the drop of a hat. New inquiries turn into clients who turn repeat clients who turn into awesome people. I get to watch two people become a family of three…and then, like Lindsey & Simon, a family of four.

I met little Miss Elenora for the first time three years ago. With a head-full of dark hair and some seriously powerful lungs, she made her appearance in the world a bit early {thus missing mommy’s maternity session}. Every three months for a year I got to hang out with this fresh family; I watched them move into their new home and adjust, so smoothly I might add!, into their new family of three. When we wrapped up Ellie’s 1 year session with a cake smash at the local park, I remember driving away a bit sad that our time was already over. And then fast forward a few Mondays to June 2014 with Lindsey told me the good news :: baby #2 would be born near the end of summer! Not knowing whether it would be a boy or a girl, we made plans for their maternity session in August and I am so thrilled to be able to hang out with this stellar now-family-of-four every three months for the next year.

Yeah. Monday’s are a pretty cool thing.

Dashen Emmanuel :: 10 days

I’ve used this poem before in a baby post, years ago, but it somehow seemed to just ring right with me this morning again.


Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,—
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,”
Said Wynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish,—
Never afraid are we!”
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam,—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
‘Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought ‘twas a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:—
And Nod.
—Eugene Field